A volcano in southern Chile erupted early Tuesday, spewing heavy smoke and lava and prompting thousands of people to flee in the surrounding area, The Associated Press reported. The Villarica volcano erupted around 3 a.m., according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered the evacuations. About 3,500 people have left the area so far, including tourists, said Interior and Security Minister Rodrigo Penailillo. Villarica is one of South America's most active volcanoes. Tourists flock there for outdoor activities, including hiking around the volcano, which last had a major eruption in 1984.